First Vacation With Family

Every year, many people have vacations with their family. Vacationing means relaxing and enjoying the seaside with your family and friends. Vacationing is one of the most important things you can do in life because it gives everyone a chance to unwind without stress. The only way to find out how you feel about first vacation with family is to actually be on one.

First vacation with family. We have been discussing the concept of it for a few years and finally decided to go on our first trip together. The time had finally come – we were ready for some relaxation after months of hard work and preparation for stuff like this last tax reform bill which was scary to me and everyone else in this country. So we decided to go somewhere hot during the summer/spring (depending on where you live).

A family vacation should be about more than just the destination and activities. The first vacation with your family can be crucial to setting the tone for future vacations together. Here are some tips on how you can create a memorable first family trip together!

First Vacation With Family

The first vacation of the season is a little different this year because it’s with our family. While I’ve always lived near my folks, we never really got to spend any quality time together during the summer months as we were busy working on our projects and traveling with work. We haven’t seen much of each other in three years because my son was born prematurely and has spent most of his time in the hospital since then. So instead of waiting until next summer when he turns five months old and can finally be released from the NICU, we decided to take advantage of my mom’s retirement plan to visit her in Florida for a few weeks.

I’ve always had the travel bug, but unfortunately, I’ve also always had more time than money. Having a baby meant I’d soon have no time and even less money, but I hoped we could still find ways to get away, and include our daughter.

The first few months were a real struggle for me, and I felt proud if I made it out of the house, never mind out of the country. But as my daughter became more settled, my confidence grew – and so did my desire to travel again. It was time to start planning our first family vacation.

I wasn’t fooling myself. I knew the time of hopping off of a ferry in Europe and seeing where the wind would take me was long gone. But the shoestring, backpacker existence no longer appealed anyway.

My husband and I both wanted to visit Cuba while Fidel Castro was still alive (Ed note: this was in 2006!) and felt it would be a great place to go with our daughter, who was then almost one. We heard that it was safe and clean and that Cubans love children. I researched a lot, and it was certainly daunting, but in those early days of parenthood, the thought of just a walk around the block was overwhelming, so I knew we could pull it off! All-inclusive resorts are the prevalent travel option in Cuba, and I wasn’t feeling adventurous or organized enough to find a casa particular – a private room in someone’s home. We booked with through a travel agent and flew by charter to Varadero.

Gone are the days of traveling light! Since I knew that–in Cuba–baby supplies would be few and far between, I packed a lot. In addition to our daily diapering, dressing, bath, and eating needs, I brought sun block, beach toys, crib sheets, baby pharmaceuticals, Megan’s special blanket, and wipes, wipes, and more wipes. I separated all this among our three bags in case one got lost. We also brought our 2nd car seat and our jogging stroller.

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The stroller’s first trip!

Our flight was on time, we checked the car seat with no problem (Ed note: rookie mistake) and gate-checked the stroller. The baby’s luggage would have been free, but since I had mixed it all up, our baggage was overweight and we had to pay a pretty big fee. Fortunately, on the way home, our bags were considerably lighter! Also, my 6’7” husband really suffered in the RIDICULOUSLY tight seats. Thankfully, the flight to Varadero from Toronto is only three hours. We noticed the panicked looks as our future seatmates approached, but luckily our daughter traveled well. She was happy to sit like a little sardine on my lap and investigate the many dollar store finds I had brought on board for her.

We stayed at the Barcelo Solymar, a large resort about a 10-minute walk from Varadero. The amenities suited our needs and we liked being close to town instead of out in resort-land. We paid extra for a two-level bungalow, which was handy for holding all of our stuff. The mini-fridge was stocked daily, and our housekeeper made sure we had extra water for the baby and beer for us, as we were pretty much held hostage in our room from 7:30 onwards every evening. It was lovely to relax on our balcony and sip a few drinks as the baby slept. Our requested crib was quite rickety and its replacement proved no better, so we shored it up and pushed our bed against it and the wall for extra security.

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Not exactly up to current Canadian safety standards 

The food was actually pretty good for your typical buffet fare – we were always early so I guess it was fresh. There were also many options for our daughter. We didn’t try any of the à-la-carte restaurants since the earliest seating was 7pm and that was too late for us (baby) to eat. Our servers were fantastic. They made such a huge fuss over the baby and she loved it – they also seemed amused instead of chagrined at her less-than-stellar table manners. I would be remiss if I didn’t personally mention Adyl and Marcel, they were wonderful.

I had my misgivings, but all-inclusive really was an easy option for our first family vacation.

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Varadero Beach is great for babies. And daddies 

The beach in Varadero is renown, and now we know why. It’s big and clean, and we were lucky enough to have perfect weather. My husband and I have always loved the beach, but having the baby means we love it a little differently. Slathered in sunblock, hated hat tightly secured, she scooted about like a little sand crab. The water was only ankle deep for quite a ways out, making it very fun for splashing. It was so wonderful to witness our baby share our love for the sand and sea.

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